Hunterston

A £324 MILLION initiative which will create around 13,000 jobs and help transform an area of Scotland hit by the decline of manufacturing is expected to be announced on the anniversary of Robert Burns’s birth this week. The Ayrshire Growth Deal is poised to be officially signed off on Friday after two years of talks involving a number of public bodies including the Scottish and UK governments and the three local authorities in the area. It is estimated it will boost a range of developments in the area and lead to £2 billion of additional private-sector investment over the next 15 years.

The National 20th Jan 2019 read more »

Not Ayrshire but interesting; It’s the thing most towns dread – a Plook On The Plinth nomination as the most dismal town in Scotland. Yet when Lochgelly attracted the critical eye of the Carbuncle Awards judges in 2010, something important happened. Firstly, the former mining town in Fife didn’t win. Secondly, a group of three women, who’d been working in the community since 1998, resolved to step up their efforts and transform their town. In 2016, their hard work was finally rewarded, when Lochgelly won the title of Scotland’s Most Improved Town in the annual Scottish Urban Regeneration Forum Awards.

The National 20th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 21 January 2019

Hunterston

Letter: Pete Roche In his article “Self-indulgent Greens are giving Hunterston workers the blues” (Business, last week), Michael Glackin doesn’t mention that EDF Energy is planning to close the two Hunterston 2 reactors in 2023 anyway. It would be interesting to know what the GMB is planning to do to help create new jobs to replace those that will be lost. It might be sensible for the GMB to seek the support of Green MSPs to argue for government interventions to create jobs, given that they are committed to “a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs” as mentioned in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement.

Times 20th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 January 2019

Capenhurst

Ellesmere Port : Uranium Hexafluoride and Fracking Side by Side? What Could Go Wrong? Nuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland says – “alongside the group, Close Capenhurst, we have been working on a report which exposes the unique dangers of the Capenhurst plant. Capenhurst is the UK’s uranium enrichment plant with 600 container movements annually of uranium products including Uranium Hexafluoride which is uniquely dangerous to health. Adding a frack site just 4 miles away from this already intolerable chemo and radiotoxic burden would be madness”.

Radiation Free Lakeland 19th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 20 January 2019

Hunterston

THE future of the Hunterston workforce after the ‘B’ station closes in four years’ time has been discussed at a top level meeting. A recent Hunterston public liaison group meeting involving management, nuclear regulators and local community councillors has been tasked with looking at the future after the plant after its proposed closure. Vice chairman Stuart McGhie said he thought it was important to form a sub-committee to look at what the future is for the local workforce. He says it is vital to look at options available before the stations shuts and goes into a period of decommissioning. It was also pointed out by Hunterston management that any additional learning from the decommissioning of Hunterston ‘A’ should be utilised for the shut down of the second station. The issues were discussed during a recent site stakeholders group meeting at Seamill Hydro. Figures were provided at the recent meeting were shows that the EDF operated power station still has 481 employees. Fresh reports however have emerged this week that the life of the power plant could yet be extended – despite the fact that both its reactors 3 and 4 are offline until the spring due to keyway root cracks. In response to a question from Labour MSP Neil Bibby at the Scottish Parliament, Energy Minister Paul Wheelhouse said: “We support proposals to extend the operating life of Hunterston B, with the qualification that strict environment and safety criteria continue to be met, and the ONR is satisfied that it can be done safely. Prolonging the life of the station would enable it to continue playing a part in meeting the Scottish demand while we increase the proportion of energy generated by the renewables and cleaner thermal generation technologies.” Mr Bibby labelled the Scottish Government’s position as ‘confusing’ in that they were against safer nuclear new build and instead wanted to keep ageing reactors going for longer. A spokeswoman for EDF said: “The best lifetime judgement of Hunterston B is 2023, and this continues to be supported given the large nuclear safety margins demonstrated through our research work.” The ONR confirmed it has received a safety case for the return to service of reactor 4, with one expected for reactor 3. As we went to press, reactor 4 is expected return to service on 31 March, and reactor 4 on 30th April.

Largs & Millport News 17th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 19 January 2019

Dungeness

In September 2018, as part of a regulatory intervention on external corrosion management, the UK nuclear safety regulator (Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR)) issued a direction for Dungeness B nuclear power station to carry out a review and reassessment of safety addressing the corrosion of concealed systems that fulfil a safety function. Inspections carried out by the site nuclear licence holder (licensee) in response to this direction identified that seismic restraints, pipework and storage vessels associated with several systems providing a safety function were found to be corroded to an unacceptable condition. This condition would have been present whilst the reactor was at power, although, the affected systems were not called upon to perform their safety function. Rectification of the degradation has now been undertaken whilst the units have been shut down for maintenance. The rectification work required more than 300m of pipework associated with reactor cooling systems to be renewed, along with renewal of numerous seismic pipework supports and remediation of carbon dioxide storage vessels. Both reactors at Dungeness B are currently (January 2019) shutdown as part of the licensees ongoing recovery program. The licensee has identified a number of additional commitments that will be fulfilled prior to returning either reactor to service. ONR continues to engage with the licensee to monitor progress against commitments. The licensee has an on-going investigation underway to establish the causes of this issue.

IAEA 17th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 18 January 2019

Hunterston

THE wait for the final decision on Clydeport’s application to environmental regulators SEPA for a waste management licence for their oil rig decommissioning project at Hunterston could be extended. The Scottish Environment Protection Agency have given assurances to the community that they will take steps to ensure that the ‘environment will be protected’. A SEPA spokesman said: “The application was received on 4 October. Whilst SEPA has a four month period to determine the application this can be extended if further time is required.”

Ardrossan Herald 12th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 14 January 2019

Hunterston

Last week the Green party held what it called a “briefing” at Holyrood to demand the closure of the Hunterston nuclear power plant in north Ayrshire. Absent from the briefing were both the plant’s owners EDF Energy – whose offer to speak at the meeting was ignored by the Greens – and the trade union that represents workers at the plant, the GMB. In response the Greens told me: “There simply was not a need for them to attend. This was a briefing, not a debate.” Yes, that confused me too. Hunterston has experienced a number of well-publicised issues, including the closure of two of its reactors. EDF Energy confirmed this month that its Hunterston B facility has 370 cracks in its graphite core. The firm said the cracks had “no impact on the safe operation of our reactors” and added it has submitted a report to the Office for Nuclear Regulation “seeking approval for return to service of the reactor 4” and was “preparing to submit the safety case for reactor 3”. Before the briefing, GMB Scotland organiser Gary Cook wrote to Green MSP Ross Greer, who organised the event, to express his disappointment that neither his union or the workforce at the plant had been asked to attend. Greer failed to reply. Trade unions of course play an important role in the safety of the UK’s nuclear industry. The Greens on the other hand represent a familiar strand of a self-indulgent political elite. The nuclear industry in Scotland employs almost 4,000 people, the majority of whom earn a lot less than Ross Greer. The Green Party has no credible proposals to replace the jobs it seeks to consign to the dustbin of history. The much talked-about transition towards a low-carbon economy is in reality a one-way ticket to the dole queue for thousands of workers and their families, or to unskilled, insecure, less well-paid jobs in the gig economy. Sadly, the Greens are less interested in listening to ordinary people than in imposing their narrow agenda on them. But why should the party listen to anyone when it never has to win a parliamentary seat on its own? Small wonder the Greens give the GMB the blues.

Times 13th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 13 January 2019

Hunterson

Powerpoint presentations delivered in the Scottish Parliament on 9th Jan by Ian Fairlie and Pete Roche

NFLA 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Briefing on Hunterston jobs and just transition, by Pete Roche.

NFLA 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Hunterston safety briefing by Dr Ian fairlie.

NFLA 10th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 11 January 2019

Hunterston

EDF Energy ‘excluded’ from Hunterston B parliament briefing. EDF Energy has claimed that it was “excluded” from a Scottish Parliament meeting today on the future of its Hunterston nuclear power facility.

Energy Voice 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 10 January 2019

Hunterston

Pressure is mounting to keep two nuclear power reactors at Hunterston in North Ayrshire closed after the company that runs them, EDF Energy, said it had found more cracks and was again postponing plans to restart. The French company now estimates that there are 370 major cracks in the graphite core of reactor three and 200 cracks in the core of reactor four. Reactor three has been closed down since 9 March 2018, and reactor four since 2 October. The day after The Ferret revealed in November that 350 cracks had been discovered in reactor three in breach of an operating safety limit, EDF postponed restarting both reactors to January and February. On 9 January the group of nuclear-free local authorities is holding a safety briefing on Hunterston for MSPs in the Scottish Parliament. Experts will call for the reactors to stay closed rather than risking a nuclear accident, and for new jobs to be created in Ayrshire. Nuclear policy consultant, Dr Ian Fairlie, will argue that the increasing number of cracks in the ageing reactors spelled their end. “There is only one thing you can do and that is close them, as they cannot be repaired,” he told The Ferret.

Ferret 9th Jan 2019 read more »

Posted: 9 January 2019